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Mimosa Grill - Charlotte, NC - March 23, 2012

A lovely location for a rehearsal dinner, with options for several of the courses. 

I chose the Crispy Pork Belly Sliders (with Cornmeal Dusted Green Tomatoes & Jalapeno Jam) - by far my favorite dish of the evening.  I shared one with Ben in exchange for one of his Georgia Stuffed Hushpuppy (with Crawfish, Leek Fondue & Creole Sauce).  This was Ben’s favorite dish, though I like my slider better.

Second course was a fairly standard dinner salad (“Tega Hills” Bibb Salad with Smoked Bacon, Carrot Strings, Feta Cheese, Buttermilk Dressing)

Third course I chose the Roasted N.C. Flounder (with North Carolina Blue Crab, Silver Queen Corn Succotash and Horseradish Butter).  Maybe I was just full by this point (or maybe the Maker’s Manhattans were taking over), but the fish seemed dry and the dish overall bland.  I just kind of picked at the crab inside.

Dessert was Seasonal Cheesecake (with Local Berries and Fresh Cream).  It was a VERY light & airy cheesecake.  Interesting.

The location was beautiful, and overall the dinner was wonderful!

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Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse - Charlotte, NC - March 22, 2012

66 beers on tap and a lot of local options.  I had Olde Hickory Bourbon BA Seven Devils (Hickory, NC) and it had anintensebourbon flavor.  It was good, but I couldn’t finish it since we were in a bit of a rush.

Ben also tried the Smokey Beef Brisket Hoagie (Hearty slices of smoked beef brisket with caramelized onions, fresh garlic & sliced sweet gherkin pickles. Brushed with a stone ground mustard spread & held together with melted muenster cheese) along with Sweet Potato Fries.  The meat was AMAZING!  I had a few bites atop my side salad (I wasn’t very hungry).

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Grilled Halibut Fish Tacos with Spicy Corn Salsa

From The Kitchy Kitchen - definitely an excellent source of inspiration for food photography (and yummy recipes)!

Source: thekitchykitchen.blogspot.com
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London - April 2009

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Chicken and Prosciutto Salad with Arugula and Asiago - Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

This was such a simple recipe, perfect for at work lunches for the week!  I simply prepped all the ingredients and have been portioning it out each day for the entire week at my office.  It would be perfect for picnics or float trip as well!

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad

Makes 6 lunches

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. french bread loaf, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 container or bag of arugula salad mix, approx. 10 oz.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Asiago or Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 6 oz. shredded, skinless boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Directions - prep ahead:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or use toaster oven).
  2. Place bread cubes onto baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with basil and garlic powder.  Toss well.  Bake in preheated oven (or toaster oven) approx. 6-8 minutes until golden brown.  Once cooled, place croutons in container or baggie for transport.
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tsp. olive oil and swirl to coat.  Add prosciutto and cook until crisp, approx. 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain on paper towels.  Once cooled, place in container or baggie for transport.
  4. Combine remaining 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a jar with tight-fitting lid (I used a leftover jelly jar).  Shake to combine as needed.
  5. Place cheese, chicken and halved tomatoes in separate containers or baggies for transport.  Keep all ingredients (except croutons) separated in refrigerator until ready to eat, up to 5 days.  (Don’t forget to pack a plate (or plates), fork(s) and napkins!)
  6. To serve, layer 1/6th of each of the ingredients on a plate in the following order:  Arugula (or salad mix), tomatoes, chicken, prosciutto, cheese.  Shake dressing to mix well and pour 1/6th of mixture over top.  Add croutons.  Serve with a piece of fruit or berries.

Nutritionals per serving:  193 cals, 11.5 g fat, 8.9g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 14.4g protein.

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Charlotte, NC - March 2012

On our way to dinner this past weekend, I fell in love with this fountain, it’s clear purpose as children’s play area and the darling statues throughout.  It reminds me of a fountain I remember playing in as a 5 year old in Iowa City.

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Bubba’s Burgers - Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii - October 2011

Standard Beach fare.  No frills, and as they say on their website, “We’ve gotta deal with the health food restaurant next door.  We don’t serve anything HEALTHY, and they don’t serve anything that TASTES GOOD!!”

Ben had an incredible strawberry shake and we both had burgers “no onions” (which you have to specifically request).  Even better than the food, is the view of the ocean, just across the street!

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Easy Breakfast.  Multi-grain toaster waffle, low-fat cottage cheese, sliced banana, pecans, maple syrup and a slice of turkey bacon on the side!

Filling and nutritious, a great way to start (or end) the day!

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22 Degrees North - Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii - October 19, 2012

Special Birthday dinner while on honeymoon in Hawaii!

22 degrees North is a Farm to Table restaurant with an ever-changing seasonal menu.  Unfortunately it was too dark to get good photos of our food, but everything was delicious!  I especially loved my Cucumber-Fennel Mojito!

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We’re off to Charlotte, NC this weekend to see two of my favorite ladies and celebrate G & J!

Congratulations Gudrun and Jay, may you have a long and happy marriage!

Let the celebrations begin!